Messi after receiving a yellow card in the game against Atletico Madrid / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Leo Messi and Sergi Busquets will miss Barça’s next Liga match next Sunday at the Camp Nou against Sporting Gijon (20:00). The two Barça players picked up yellow cards in tonight’s match at the Calderón meaning Guardiola will not be able to name them to the team next week.

Messi was booked in the sixth minute when the referee ruled that the Argentine had controlled the ball with his hand. This is the third time this season that Barça’s playmaker has been booked for handling the ball (Espanyol and Betis). The other two cards were awarded when the referee ruled that Messi simulated a foul in Real Sociedad’s area and for protesting a call in the Clásico at the Bernabéu.

The first Liga match without Messi

Next week will be Barça’s first Liga match of the 2011/12 season without Messi. The Argentine has played all 24 league matches. In fact, this season, Messi has only missed three matches in all competitions: two in the Cup against Hospitalet and the Champions League match against BATE Borisov at the Camp Nou. The player wasn’t named to the team on all three occasions.

The absence of Sergi Busquets will also be felt by Barça’s first team. Of the last 12 matches Barça has played, the midfielder started in 9 of them. It’s worth mentioning that he missed two games because of the injury he picked up against Real Sociedad.